Stock Market Today: Stocks End Higher Ahead of Long Holiday Weekend
A better-than-expected reading on personal income and Salesforce earnings helped boost indexes ahead of Memorial Day.
The handful of investors that stuck around today ahead of the long holiday weekend (U.S. stock markets will be closed Monday for Memorial Day) weren't fazed by the latest sign of rising inflation.
"The Fed's favorite inflation indicator – the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index – just put in the highest reading since 1992, coming in at a blistering 3.1% year-over-year," says Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth. "We anticipate at least another couple of months of these hot readings before we get some cooling off."
Nevertheless, the broad-market indexes all closed the week with modest gains, as additional data released today showed a slimmer-than-expected fall in personal income in April and a big spike in business activity in Chicago this month.
Stronger-than-forecast earnings from cloud-based software company Salesforce.com (CRM, +5.5%) also helped lift the collective mood on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.2% to 34,529. The S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite followed suit, gaining 0.1% to 4,204 and 0.1% to 13,748, respectively.
Other action in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 slipped 0.2% to 2268.
- AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC, -1.5%) eased back today following a blistering rally for meme stocks this week. Despite closing in the red today, AMC shares more than doubled on a week-over-week basis.
- Boeing (BA, -1.5%) was the worst Dow stock today. The shares closed lower after the Wall Street Journal reported the company has paused deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested additional production information, according to people familiar with the matter.
- U.S. crude oil futures fell 0.8% to end at $66.32 per barrel.
- Gold futures rose 0.4% to settle at $1,905.30 an ounce.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) edged up 0.1% to 16.76.
- Bitcoin prices slumped 7.7% to $35,861.38. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
A Lumber Market "Supercycle"?
The lumber market could be entering a "supercycle" of sustained growth in demand that drives lumber prices higher and higher.
"Given the demand strength we continue to see from U.S. homebuilding activity, we still believe the lumber markets could be settling into a structurally 'higher for longer' price environment," say Raymond James analysts.
While futures prices for the commodity have eased back from mid-May record highs, a red-hot housing market, robust home-repair activity and limited sawmill capacity could create the perfect storm for timber prices to continue to gain ground – and lift lumber stocks along the way.
Throw in a post-pandemic economic recovery and infrastructure spending through President Biden's American Jobs Plan, and the surge in lumber prices could last for years. Read on as we explore seven lumber stock picks that could benefit from more upside in the commodity.